Hashawha runners make their way across the rolling fields during the 2010 race.

Alan Gowan

Hashawha Hills 50 km Trail Run

31 miles of trails, old woods roads, open fields, and plenty of hills with a couple of stream crossings thrown in just for fun.

Information

Race starts
  • Sat Feb 27, 2021 at 7:30 am
Entry opens
Race director

Run Details

Pre-race and post-race will be indoors. We’ve reserved the heated auditorium and bathrooms located indoors at the Bear Branch Nature Center. There will be hot food and drink indoors at the finish.

Pre-Race

Please arrive in time for a pre-race briefing in the Bear Branch auditorium at 7:10 AM. When you arrive, please park as directred by the Parking Czar. Parking is limited and we appreciate your cooperation. The Bear Branch Nature Center will remain open to the public during our race, and we need to allow access for, and be courteous to, the public.

Post-Race

After the race, celebrate your accomplishment and swap lies with everyone else while you warm up with hot food and drinks in the Bear Branch auditorium. The park has a no alcohol policy.

Weather

In past years we’ve experienced high winds, cold temperatures, slick ice, amazing mud, snow, and some all round miserable weather. Even so, the race will be held unless we’re in the midst of a howling blizzard (a real blizzard, not what the TV guys call a blizzard). Even though we will try to notify everyone by email if we should need to cancel the event, we will post a notice on this web site, so be sure to check here if you are in doubt.

It's Maryland in February.  Snowy trails are a distinct possibility.
It’s Maryland in February. Snowy trails are a distinct possibility.

Start / Finish

The start, finish, and mid-point of the race will be at a covered picnic pavilion just a two minute walk from the Bear Branch auditorium. After you finish your race, join us indoors in the Bear Branch Auditorium for hot food and drink.

Awards

There will be unique handmade awards for the first male and female finishers.

Some rules

The Hashawha Hills 50 km Trail Run complies with the VHTRC policy on personal listening devices. The short explanation is that we don’t want you to use them. Hashawha Hills also complies with the VHTRC cancellation policy

Sponsorship

The Hashawha Hills Trail Run is another event sponsored by the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club.

Volunteers

If this race is to be a success, we’ll need to have some help on race day. Feel good about yourself and make us look good too by volunteering. Contact the race director, Alan Gowen, using the link above.

The Course

Distance
  • 50 km
Total ascent/descent
  • 4,550 feet
Aid stations
  • 5 aid stations
  • 1 with dropbags
Time cutoff
  • 9 hours
GPX file
The relentless Hashawha Hills — small but numerous — take their toll
The relentless Hashawha Hills — small but numerous — take their toll.

The course has about two miles of asphalt, three miles of gravel road, and 26 miles of trail. The course is mostly single track trails along with some old woods roads and open fields. The entire course is runnable. There are no mountains, no rocks, and no roots, but there are a few stream crossings (you WILL get your feet wet) and never ending small hills to wear you down with a few bigger hills thrown in just for fun. The scenery changes from mostly woods to meadows and open fields with beautiful views of rolling farmland. The course will be well marked for the entire distance; however, runners will have to pay attention to remain on course.

Course markings

The course will be marked with pink ribbons hung from branches, sign posts, small pink flags stuck in the ground, and blue arrow signs. Most intersecting trails will be blocked with red ribbons across them.

Remember

  1. Always follow the closest pink marking
  2. Disregard arrow signs seen from the back or side
  3. Never cross red
The course is marked with pink ribbons
The course is marked with pink ribbons.

Aid stations

There will be five opportunities for aid. The aid stations will be fully stocked with water, Gatorade, PB&J sandwiches, chips, pretzels, cookies, M&M’s, Coke, Mt Dew, etc. Please note that you will have to run up to 8.5 miles between aid so be sure to come prepared to do that.

Aid StationSplitCumulativeDropbagsCutoffMap
Aid Station 18.5 mi8.5 mi
Aid Station 22.3 mi10.8 mi
Aid Station 34.7 mi15.5 mi11:30 am
Aid Station 18.5 mi24.0 mi
Aid Station 22.3 mi26.3 mi

Drop Bags

The start-finish line is at the same location as the 15.5 mile Aid Station 3. This is a covered pavilion where there is plenty of space for you to leave a drop bag if you so desire. Bring your drop bag to the indoors pre-race briefing and then carry it with you to the start-finish after the pre-race briefing.

Time Cutoffs

The race will start at 7:30 am. There is a 9 hour time limit (4:30 pm) to complete the course. Additionally, there is a cut off of 4:00 (11:30 am) at the 15.5 mile aid station. Course record for men: 3:31:44 (Michael Daigeaun, 2013). Course record for women: 4:27:03 (Sheila Vibert, 2017)

Meteorological information

While late February in Maryland is usually cold, spring-like conditions have occurred. Watch the weather forecast and plan accordingly.

Historical weather data and finishing rates at Hashawha Hills
Historical weather data and finishing rates at Hashawha Hills.
Sunrise and sunset data for February 27, 2021
Beginning of civil twilight 7:15 am
Sunrise 7:42 am
Sunset 6:58 pm
End of civil twilight 7:25 pm

Read the local weather forecast.

What’s it like?

Watch these videos from Jonathan Gowen and Paul Encarnación. Also, read reports from former years.

Each loop has about a mile of asphalt
Each loop has about a mile of asphalt.

Entry

Entry information has not been updated for the 2021 race.

Registration

We use the “VHTRC entry system.” Simply, you apply, we hold a lottery, and then you come back and either pay the entry fee or join the wait list.

In the past, when we had a first come first-served registration system, we were a little embarrassed by the speed with which Hashawha Hills filled up. Because the race filled so quickly, we felt it wasn’t as fair as we would have liked it to be. In the spirit of fairness we now use the same lottery system the VHTRC currently uses for entry into some of our other events.

The wait list is prioritized. The priorities will give wait list priority to prior finishers.

Entry Fee

In 2010 and 2011 the entry fee was an exorbitant $20.00. We really wanted to be sure runners got their money’s worth, so in 2012 the entry fee was reduced to $19.85. In 2013 we reduced the fee again to $19.75, and in 2014 to $19.65, and in 2015 we dropped down to a ridiculous $19.55. The entry fee was reduced to an unbelievable $19.45 in 2016. Do you notice a trend here? The insanity continues! In 2017 the entry was a paltry $19.35. In 2018, the entry fee was a just plain stupid $19.25. Now hold onto your hats, because we will reduce the entry fee yet again. The entry fee for 2019 will be a mind blowing $19.15!

What You Get For Your Entry Fee

You will receive a great trail race with a very well-marked route, well-stocked aid stations, and hot post race food and drink indoors. All finishers will receive a beautiful Hashawha Hills mug, hand made by a local potter. There will be special awards for the top male and female finishers.

Refunds

We will give refunds (less five dollars) to those who notify us of their withdrawal by Saturday, February 18. To withdraw, go to the withdrawal page. There must be someone on the waiting list to take the place of the person who withdraws for a refund to be issued.

Prior Year Loser Priority in 2020

In 2019, everyone who joined the initial wait list either got in the race or withdrew. Accordingly, there will be no one eligible for the prior year loser wait list priority for 2020 entry.

Results

Hashawha Hills course records
Name Time Age Year
Open Male Michael Daigeaun 3:31:44 33 2013
Female Sheila Vibert 4:27:03 35 2017
Masters (40–49) Male Paul Jacobs 3:47:43 41 2020
Female Kristin Bremer 4:35:13 41 2013
Senior (50–59) Male Henry Peck 4:38:43 54 2012
Female Lori Johnson 5:16:08 53 2017
Super Senior (60+) Male Gary Knipling 5:39:57 67 2011
Female Lucia Davidson 7:46 63 2009

2020 Report

Men's winner
Stefano Ruzza (3:47:21)
Women's winner
Kristen Serafin (4:43:38)
Stats
110 starters, 105 finishers
95% finishing rate

2019 Report

Men's winner
Aaron Schwartzbard (4:23:28)
Women's winner
Sheila Vibert (4:48:08)
Stats
113 starters, 98 finishers
87% finishing rate

2018 Report

Men's winner
Adam Watkins (4:19:21)
Women's winner
Sarah Mikalauskas (5:15:41)
Stats
108 starters, 101 finishers
94% finishing rate

2017 Report

Men's winner
Jarrod Brennet (3:56:19)
Women's winner
Sheila Vibert (4:27:03)
Stats
106 starters, 99 finishers
93% finishing rate

2016 Report

Men's winner
Jason Lantz (4:07:21)
Women's winner
Sarah Mikalauskas (5:03:58)
Stats
111 starters, 98 finishers
88% finishing rate

2015 Report

Men's winner
Chris McIntosh (5:24:22)
Women's winner
Lori Cooper (6:27:02)
Stats
96 starters, 53 finishers
55% finishing rate

2013 Report

Men's winner
Michael Daigeaun (3:31:44)
Women's winner
Kristin Bremer (4:35:13)
Stats
108 starters, 93 finishers
86% finishing rate

2012 Report

Men's winner
Angus Repper (4:14:14)
Women's winner
Erika Ebright (5:06:38)
Stats
101 starters, 91 finishers
90% finishing rate

2011 Report

Men's winner
Olivier Leblond (4:09:30)
Women's winner
Gaby Gorman (4:45:15)
Stats
75 finishers

2009 Report

Men's winner
Travis Warren (4:22)
Women's winner
Michele Harmon (5:24)
Stats
80 starters, 32 finishers
40% finishing rate

2008 Report

Men's winner
Joe Clapper (4:48:36)
Women's winner
Diana Widdowson (5:47:40)
Stats
48 starters, 30 finishers
63% finishing rate